How to get to Salcombe

You can get to Salcombe by plane, train and automobile. For 70 years, from 1893 to 1963, there was a train that went from Totnes to Kingsbridge but the growth in the popularity of the motorcar meant it was eventually shut down. Amazingly, there was even a plan to open a line from Kingsbridge to Salcombe! The terminal was to be at Snapes Point with a ferry taking people from the peninsular of land over to the main town! We wonder how different Salcombe would be if that railway had been implemented…

Salcombe remains a hotbed of style, sophistication and relaxed glamour which is reflected throughout the town with its cool shops and some of the most sought after luxury holiday homes on the South coast. Here at Finest Stays we aim to offer the complete holiday experience, divulging useful tips on everything from water sports to the best places to dine out. So, after much list making and discussion about how we can take the strain out of your holiday, (after all the little things count too!) we decided to quickly run through your travel options to your stay.  We all tend to grab the keys and jump in the car, it’s easy and automatic. But, have you ever considered the alternatives? 

Driving to Salcombe

South Devon is well connected to The Midlands, the North, Wales and London with both the A30 and the M5 bringing you to Exeter and onto the A38, this is the main route between  Exeter and Plymouth. Continue along the A38 and follow signs for Totnes, then onto Kingsbridge and Salcombe. Or continue along the A38 until you reach the slip road signposted Modbury and join the A379 for Kingsbridge and follow signs for Salcombe. Either route from London will take around 4.5 hours and from Bristol, around 2 hours. On arriving in Salcombe, park the car and enjoy life on Salcombe time, especially during the summer months. Stroll to the beaches; It’s about a 20 minute walk along Cliff Road to North Sands and around 10 minutes further to South Sands where you can pick up a ferry back into town. A regular ferry runs from Whitestrand, it’s just a short hop across the water to the beautiful beaches at East Portlemouth (facing Salcombe). Both ferries are dog friendly and a fun way of seeing the town at it’s best… from the water.

By Rail

There are regular trains from London Paddington and London Waterloo to Totnes train station with First Great Western.

Your journey will take just over three hours from London Paddington and a little longer from Waterloo. Either way, there is a 30-40 minute taxi ride from Totnes train station to Salcombe.

Taxi Numbers Salcombe

Even at train stations, it can be hard to find a cab, so book your pick‑ups ahead. We recommend using these Salcombe taxi’s where you should expect to pay around £40 one way into Salcombe from Totnes station.

Flying to Salcombe

Your best airport to fly into is Exeter. Flights come in from Edinburgh, Guernsey, Dublin, Newcastle, Glasgow, Belfast City, Jersey, Isles of Scilly and various European cities.

Salcombe Half Term Devon Blog


We’re often asked whether guests will need a car in Salcombe, how easy is it to park, can you walk to restaurants for dinner? So here are some answers to those most frequently asked questions:

Should I take the train or drive? This depends on whether you’re planning on arriving in Salcombe and just staying in the town. But if you’re planning on heading further afield, perhaps to explore the coastline and beaches around Dartmouth, Thurlestone Bigbury or Hope Cove then your best option is to take the car. 

Do I need my car to explore Salcombe? No is the easy answer. If you’re looking for beaches in Salcombe, they’re easily accessible on foot or by passenger ferry. For dining there are some good pubs, hotel restaurants, cafes and takeaways… you can of course always hire a private chef. Everything you need is in the town. 

Is there plenty of parking in Salcombe? There is parking in the town but it can get very busy during peak holiday times and on a lovely sunny day. Many of our luxury holiday homes have private parking and some have dedicated parking. Salcombe streets are narrow and usually very busy with pedestrians so it’s best not to try and drive through the town unless you have to.